Refreshing your profile: The chronically online's guide to rhinoplasty
Whether it is through social media, Zoom meetings or just trying to feel more put together while stuck at home, rhinoplasty may provide the confidence boost some need so they look their best on camera even during challenging times!
For this guide to rhinoplasty for the chronically online, we spoke with board-certified plastic surgeon Smita Ramanadham, MD, and ASPS past President Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS, to discuss what you need to know before considering such a procedure.
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure aimed at reshaping and modifying the structure of the nose. Commonly referred to as a nose job, rhinoplasty can address various concerns related to the size, shape and proportion of the nose to improve both its appearance and functionality. The procedure can involve alterations to the nasal bones, cartilage, skin, or a combination of these elements.
"Typically, a rhinoplasty can be performed closed or open," said Ramanadham. "This refers to whether there is an external incision on the nose or all incisions are placed on the inside. Regardless of this, the nose is comprised of cartilage and bone, and steps are taken to expose each area and address any deformities that may be present."
Rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure that requires careful planning, skilled execution and a thorough understanding of the patient's desired outcome to achieve satisfactory and natural-looking results.
"The anatomy is intricate and small maneuvers if not done appropriately will have devastating consequences not only in respect to the cosmetic outcome but functional as well," said Ramanadham. "It's important to see a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs these procedures regularly."
Social media and its impact on rhinoplasty
As people become more conscious of their appearance through the lens of a front-facing camera, they may become hyper-aware of any perceived flaws, which has led to a surge in the interest of rhinoplasty procedures. Selfies provide a constant visual reminder of one's facial features and can heighten self-consciousness, pushing individuals to seek a solution to achieve their desired aesthetic.
Additionally, the ability to instantly share and receive feedback on selfies from friends, family and followers further fuels the desire for a nose that is considered more aesthetically pleasing. Consequently, the popularity of rhinoplasty has increased as individuals strive to achieve the ideal nose shape and proportions that are highly valued in the realm of selfie culture.
"In my experience, more often than not, patients are coming in because they don't like their appearance on selfies or social media," said Ramanadham. "With apps such as FaceTune, they are altering their photos for posting but also bringing these photos in as 'wish' pictures. Social media has also allowed others to share their rhinoplasty journeys which removes some of the stigma from the past."
As one of the leading social media platforms for sharing selfies, Instagram has provided a space for individuals to showcase their before-and-after rhinoplasty results. This visual medium allows people to not only document their transformations but also serves as a powerful tool for rhinoplasty surgeons to display their skills and expertise.
The platform's influence extends beyond personal accounts, as many cosmetic surgeons and clinics utilize Instagram as a marketing tool to reach a wide audience. By sharing visually compelling content, including patient testimonials and surgical process videos, Instagram has helped destigmatize rhinoplasty, making it more accessible and socially acceptable.
Aside from Instagram, Tiktok has also had an impact on our desire for rhinoplasty. As a platform known for its short, engaging videos, TikTok has provided a space for users to share their cosmetic journeys, including rhinoplasty experiences. Through captivating before-and-after clips, users can visually document their transformation, capturing the attention and curiosity of viewers. TikTok's algorithmic nature, which promotes popular content to a wider audience, has propelled rhinoplasty-related videos into the spotlight, increasing visibility and exposure for the procedure.
The platform's wide user base, particularly among younger demographics, has also played a role in shaping beauty ideals and fueling the desire for physical enhancements, including nose reshaping. TikTok's influence on the popularity of rhinoplasty lies in its ability to normalize and destigmatize cosmetic procedures, encouraging open conversations and sharing personal stories. However, it is crucial for individuals to approach such decisions responsibly, consulting with qualified medical professionals and considering their own motivations and expectations before pursuing rhinoplasty or any other cosmetic surgery.
Day jobs and nose jobs: How the Zoom call revolutionized rhinoplasty
The widespread adoption of remote work, the prevalence of Zoom calls and the increasing importance of online presence have had a notable impact on people's desires to pursue plastic surgery procedures like rhinoplasty. With the shift to working from home, individuals are spending more time in front of their computer screens and engaging in virtual meetings and video conferences.
"There's no question that smartphone selfies, Zoom calls and so on have influenced people's factors in making a decision about a rhinoplasty, simply because we're having the opportunity to look at ourselves more than when we just look at ourselves in the mirror," said Matarasso. "There's actually a study on this – that Zoom calls magnify defects, so I think that this probably can precipitate people's decisions."
Rhinoplasty: A new point of viewfinder
For individuals who are chronically online, rhinoplasty can be an effective means to achieve their aesthetic goals and enhance their virtual presence. As online interactions increasingly shape our lives, people may become more conscious of their appearance and how they are perceived in the digital realm.
“Notable outcomes are numerous,” said Matarasso. “Rhinoplasty – and this has been shown for decades – can change lives... a prominent nose, for better or worse, can have a tremendous impact on people as they’re growing up. They’ll hide their face, they’ll be shy in school, they won’t make friends as well, and just altering something like that can have a tremendous impact on people.”
Rhinoplasty allows individuals to address specific concerns about their nose, such as size, shape or asymmetry, enabling them to create a more attractive and harmonious facial profile.
To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.